Ballena Marine National Park
The park area was created in 1989. It has an area of 5.375 sea hectares and 110 land hectares which serve the purpose of ensuring the maintenance of critical habitats, for the reproduction of many marine species, and preserving the productivity of biological communities that inhabit the coastal zone. It protects a variety of environments such as sandy beaches, rocky beaches, cliffs, islands, rocky reefs, organic coral reefs and isthmus of Punta Uvita.
A geological formation that draws much attention to researchers and visitors is the Isthmus of Punta Uvita, formed by the deposition of terrigenous and biogenic sands on the crest of rocks linking the tip of the Isthmus to the coast creating the formation of a whale´s tails. Marino Ballena National Park is surrounded by a region of great beauty, as well as scientific value. It has great value for environmental education and tourism development.
One of the most important marine environments in the area is organic reefs, commonly known as coral reefs. These are made of hermatypic corals, which are organisms that contribute to most of the structure as well as coralline algae and sponges, which help to unite the elements of the structure.
The coral reef structure is porous, with 50% empty space. As the reef grows, channels and cavities are formed that live in harmony, a factor that allows the coexistence of many species on the reef.
Coral reefs are tropical communities that are developed in a range of temperatures between 18 and 23oC. They are very sensitive to temperature changes, exposure, and mainly to the deposition of sediments
The migration of humpback whales is especially protected, which come to the warm waters of Costa Rica with their calves to nurse. The species that live here throughout the year such as bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, crabs, worms, crayfish, algae, several species of fish, sponges, and mollusks such as cambutes are also protected.
Two species of reptiles have also been reported in the area: the green iguana and cherepo. Among the species of seabirds, frigates, white ibis, pelicans, and brown bobo birds have been found here.